Inspirational: the influence of place

A place, something magic: the magic of the encounter between person and space.

“Genius loci” stated the Latins referring to those peculiar and specific characteristics that emanate from the place and are inevitably transmitted to its inhabitants. But the influence that the place can exert on the human mind and individual character is something inexplicable and magical that can occur with birth, over time, or even in a single intense, unveiling moment.

This moment transmutes into inspiration and is relevant to the purposes of the investigation of this exhibition “Inspirational: the influence of place” that highlights that magical moment in which the place becomes part of a human being who although not born there, although not living there, has grasped its deep and strong meaning.

An investigation that starts from afar, from an inspiration obtained through the reading of the valuable text by Pier Luigi Razzano titled America-NA which contains a collection of texts of American literature that from the 18th to the 20th century captured emotions and visions of writers, travelers on the European Grand Tour, who stopped or crossed the Campania region on their cultural pilgrimage. This is the starting point for an additional investigation that focuses on the pictorial / visual “here and now” of a New Grand Tour that contemporary American artists have been invited to do in the same territory in our days and have captured aspects perhaps unknown to the inhabitants themselves who, out of habit and automatism, are no longer even able to “see” the things that surround them.

Putting together literature and the visual arts is something that deeply attracts us and repeats that magic of influence of the place we want to deal with.

As inhabitants of a place we explore only some aspects of it and not its entirety and as citizens the exploration is reduced to a cost / benefit ratio that is relevant in political / social rather than aesthetic terms.

The vision of a territory elaborated and described by an eighteenth-century writer who lived there for a certain period and spoke about it with a gaze detached from emotional entanglements, is in itself interesting; but if this vision of the place is juxtaposed to that of a visual artist who sees the same land today, with current eyes and with contemporary technologies, the investigation can be even more intriguing and stimulating.

The place is a spatial dimension and, I would rather say, a relational dimension between physicality and spirit. It is the point of connection between physical person and space. Whether large or tiny, the surrounding space is destined to have a relationship and an influence on the psyche of the being that occupies it, and attitudes, behaviors and situations inevitably arise from this influence.

A place is made up of atmospheres, smells, flavors, sensations.

It is never neutral; it is made up of meaning and senses.

And therefore it provokes reactions: inspirations.

We need to be vigilant and wait for space to speak to us; we need to listen at the space talking to us;  reflect on its being a place and at the same time a spatial relationship; relationship of senses. Knowledge and consciousness are formed through this attention to the place or places of our space exploration.

Physical space and psychological space merge in the inspiration that comes from it.

Degraded places involves degrading inspirations: it still speaks and communicates, but it is no longer a source of creativity and development.

Sustainability and the care of space therefore become aesthetic and social canons fundamental for human survival.

The care of the external space is in itself the care of our interiority.

The artists presented this space to us not only as a volume, a container, or a simple environment; they exhibited it as a source of beauty: in abstraction or figuration they composed their pictorial space as an occurrence of Beauty, an aspiration to Beauty. They showed us a path, they traced a path: looking at space with the eye of Art and Beauty: it is up to us to walk it.